Funny Money Bust Nabs 2

The Santa Cruz police department has arrested two people believed to be involved in a large-scale counterfeiting ring that operated in the Bay Area.

On Tuesday, detectives working with the U.S. Secret Service and the Santa Cruz County Sheriffs office arrested Mackenzie Jiosa, 24, and Jack Williams, 27.

Officers arrested the two in a motel on the 2900 Block of Soquel Drive, where they seized $5,000 in counterfeit money, printing templates, a computer printer, ink and instructions on printing the fake money.

Detectives said they found a stolen truck at the motel that matched the description of the truck used after some of the counterfeit money was passed at businesses.

Investigators obtained various denominations of counterfeit money at the motel including five, $10, $20 and one $100 bills.

Investigators said they were not sure if there were other suspects who were part of the ring but had not been caught, however they described the two suspects as "lynchpins" to the operation.

Investigators believe these two individuals have been passing counterfeit money as at various points between San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Cruz over the last few months.

Santa Cruz police said they were still determining which businesses in their jurisdiction were victims.

Investigators believe, based on serial numbers obtained from the counterfeit money, that Jiosa and Williams are responsible for passing fake bills in at least six locations in Santa Cruz.

Some of these locations were released to the public during a counterfeit spree in December.

Businesses and individuals are encouraged to be on the lookout for the counterfeit bills as some may still be in circulation or other people may be involved in the ring.

The below are a known list of local counterfeit twenty dollar serial numbers:

SERIAL NUMBERS: EJ78005331 A - J 10
EB32872136 D – B2 (some of these bills were also altered to begin BB328….)

Anyone with additional information about this case is asked to contact the Santa Cruz Police Department Investigations Section at 831-420-5820.

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